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Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

I had the honor today of interviewing Connie Baum the inspiration behind the website Food
Stamps Cooking Club
about why her website is growing in numbers and with such a sense of community.  The site was created to teach people how to stretch their food dollars to purchase foods that are filling and nutritious.  To hear the interview click here:  Write Where You Are

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     Isn’t it sad to see someone who was once considered beautiful, sexy, popular and much sought after turned into an empty shell?  In other words a hottie turned into a nottie?  One of the big misconceptions that the media portrays on men and women is that all you have to do to be successful is to be attractive, popular and available.  If a person falls into that trap and doesn’t develop some deeper qualities and values in life…eventually, the emptiness turns a person into a sad, shell of a person who seeks attention in the only way they know how; displaying what they consider to be their only value…their body.

        You see this all of the time in the world of celebrities…but everyday people often fall into that trap as well.  Beauty, youth, and popularity all pass away in time…what’s left is the spirit, the mind, and their purpose in life.  If those aren’t developed along the way…the search for meaning is sometimes mis-directed onto meaningless relationships, trendy pseudo-religions, drugs/alcohol abuse, and endless dramatic attempts to seek attention. 

         As a society we need to devalue the attention that the media puts on empty pursuits by public role models.  We need to encourage those sports figures, politicians, and celebrities who are doing positive…purposeful things in life.  Quite giving time and attention to those who are living on the edge and doing nothing more with the gifts in their lives than pursuing selfish and destructive behaviors.  In raising our children, we need to develop character building, self esteem, and goals of reaching out to others. 

          We do this by teaching them to discover how to connect to others, give back to those who are less fortunate in life, teach them spiritual fulfillment, and to value their bodies by encouraging modesty and healthy self- esteem building techniques. 

           I dont like seeing young guys or gals flaunting their bodies or their finances to gain attention; I like it even less when i see a 40-60 year old who talks, acts, spends, and dresses like a teenager…because that is the only way they know to attract members of the opposite sex.   Let’s encourage an attitude of growth, respect, confidence, and personal development as a way of life!

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      Today, pictures that show the trauma that singer Rihanna  allegedly suffered at the hands of her boyfriend singer, Chris Brown were released.  If it is true that these are authentic police pictures; someone is going to lose their job.   It is awful that someone could profit from providing this picture to a media outlet…whether they profitted for fame, for money, or purely for the ability to be in control over the picture.  When it is discovered, through the internal police investigation, who the person is who released it…they will instantly become a very unpopular person.  It must take a tremendous amount of lack of compassion and integrity to give yourself permission to profit from someone else’s pain and misery!  (more…)

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       It appears that since this season of Dancing With The Stars has begun that dancing pro Cheryl Burke has been getting criticized for gaining some weight.  Today on several television programs Cheryl voiced her shock and discomfort with viewers who felt that they had a right to criticize her appearance.  Some of the questions she faced even went so far as to ask if she was several months pregnant.  Other comments were just plain rude and were meant to make her feel bad about her appearance. Her skills were not being questioned…just her appearance.

        Cheryl took off the summer to work on getting her dance studio opened.  While she was off from her normal schedule…she says that she gained about 5 pounds.  Some of the comments that Cheryl heard were very hurtful to her.  She said that the comments online and in tabloids were very in her face and she could not avoid hearing about them.  She said it caused her heartache and made her cry.  When she is on DWTS she is dancing approximately 7 hours a day.  Going without that regular schedule is what caused her to gain the extra pounds.

        Even though Cheryl said that she is comfortable in her own skin and has always been curvy since she hit puberty…those hurtful comments definately affected her.   She said, even with the weight gain..she is still able to fit into her size 4 costumes for the show. 

        I think it is unfortunate that people would feel it necessary to write in to her or about her weight gain.  I think as a society we are becoming conditioned by constant exposure to multi-media venues viewing celebrities and models who are setting a poor example of what is a healthy weight for their bone structure or frame.

         Americans are on a national trend heading towards obesity and that needs to be curbed.  However, we need to educate people not attack them.  Cheryl, as a size 4, is by no means hugely overweight.  As she stated on the television interviews…now that she is back regularily training in her dance routines…she is loosing the weight gain naturally.  She has no intention of going on some radical, unhealthy diet that will appease her critics.  I applaude her for that.  She has a healthy self-esteem and it comes across.

         Shorter stature women, who have the physical characteristic of being short- waisted, tend to show any amount of weight gain quite quickly.  I think, that combined with the television cameras ability to add 10 lbs to a person’s appearance and skimpy costumes that expose many of a womans trouble spots to the camera lense has put an unfair spotlight on Cheryl.  She is a beautiful woman who is talented and active. 

        Those who are quick to judge her, by the weight gain, should take care how they voice their opinion.  None of us would be too willing to trade places with her and be the person who is being judged.  There are few of us who would wish someone we care about to be judged by this same harsh standard.  What kind of an impact does it have on our young people to pick at someone’s appearance because they have gained a minimal amount of weight?  We have far too many people who struggle around the world with their body image; and because of that, they often develop eating disorders such as bulimia/anorexia.  This is a very serious blackmark on our culture.  Do you think it is fair for people to publically chastize Cheryl for her weight gain?  Has someone else’s opinion of you negatively impacted your self-esteem?

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        Titanic, the US economy & rescue boats; what do they have in common?  Much!  Do you remember seeing the pictures of the Titanic ship as she prepared for her maiden voyage?  It was large, it was the ultimate in luxury and it was celebrated as “unsinkable”.  The US economy has sort of lived in luxury even if it has been on “borrowed/credit” monies.  I think many thought the structure of the US economy was unsinkable as well.  We now know differently because of the financial crisis that many have been working so hard to “rescue”.  It is common sense, if you live outside of your means to pay for it…you will loose it all.

          While i think we will probably be saved from the fate of most of the passengers and crew of the Titanic; there are some who will definately suffer.  This morning on the news programs it was announced that the biparisan effort to “fix” the economy has reached a tenative agreement on the way to do that.

           What we need to do is wait to see the methods that are employed in this fix- it solution.  Waiting feels a bit wrong because things are so very important and desperate for many Americans.  There has been suffering already.  Some of the suffers have already been in extreme situations…loosing their homes, filing bankruptsy, working more than one job trying to make ends meet; some have been successful in changing their financial direction and some were not.  Hearing that taxpayers are going to have to fix this problem with more taxes when they are already pushed against the wall is terrifying.  So, some quick explanations of this “bailout”  is very important to calming the fears of the public.

           It is going to be crucial to learn lessons from the Titanic experience.  Even now, knowing that it sunk, knowing that lives were lost…do you think that if the passengers and crew on that ship had each had a bucket and a will to survive that they would not have made the trip up and down the stairs to make an attempt, several times over, to try to bail out the water in the bowels of that ship?  Of course they would have. 

           Had that ship had more lifeboats (rescue boats in our case) would more lives have been saved?  Certainly.  So, What does the Titanic ship and the US economy have in common…they both needed rescuing, they both carried movers and shakers, people had a vested interest in saving them both, lives were and are at stake in both situations.  Can the US economy survive when the Titanic ship did not?  It is possible!

          Let’s pray that the bi-partisan plan has figured in enough rescue boats to save not ONLY the large banking systems, the mortgage companies, the credit card organizations; but, the people at the base of each of those situations…the taxpayers…the recipients of those services.  The little people who are drowning in the flood as we speak need their own rescue ships; or, the overall plan will fail. The future impact of this bailout is not only important to the US but to the global economy as well.

         We must not forget that any of those businesses cannot possibly make a comeback if the little people can NOT afford to make use of those services…and, they can’t do that if they are loosing their jobs, their homes, their families to the high cost of living!  We all want and need to survive…the will to survive is there; if there are enough rescue ships in this plan, we may just be able to keep the ship of the US economy floating long enough to make it healthy again.  We all may be traveling at a lower level than luxury or first class…but, that is alright…at least we will have the chance to recover.  We just have to adjust how we think and make choices in our day to day lives that are within our means to pay for them…what a novel idea!

            

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       Ok, here we go…a few months ago, i heard about a lawsuit on one of the ABC news programs between Mattel, the makers of the Barbie doll empire, and MGA Entertainment, Inc the makers of the Bratz doll line.  The issue seemed to spring from Mattel’s allegation that the designer Carter Bryant was working for them when he came up with the concept for the Bratz doll line; and therefore, they felt that it infringed upon their copyright since he was under contract to them at the time of the design; the jury seemed to agree.

         The jury awarded Mattel $100 million dollars in compensation today.  Wowie…that would pay for a whole lot of Barbie cars, Barbie swimming pools and certainly alot of Barbie mansions.   Now that $100 million, was nowhere near the amount that Mattel was seeking; it was more in the area of $1Billion dollars that they felt MGA should owe them with the success of the Bratz dolls,  toys and other assorted items MGA endorsed with the Bratz line. 

          I don’t know if you have ever seen the Bratz dolls but their heads are large…and they wear exceedingly seductive outfits and they have long hair and heavy makeup on these dolls.  They are very sensualized dolls that have been marketed to young girls and preteen girls as the heighth of fashion dolls.  In comparison, Barbie has been a mainstay in the toy market for years..but, since the sales began on the Bratz line…Barbie sales have fallen.  The competition seemed to pit the “good girl image” with the “bad girl image”…what image do you think young girls in a hurry to grow up wanted mom and dad to buy them?  Their choices are influenced by the things they see in our culture as “grown up”.   With growing concerns about body image and a healthy attitude towards their self concept…we need to understand the connection that takes place in a child’s world view and how that affects their emotional development! 

           Teaching young girls to value their bodies as something more than window dressing to get attention used to be the norm; that is no longer true.  Experts have been dealing with an increased awareness that young women are not happy with their bodies and will go to extremes to try to achieve the “look” that is in vogue.  We have young women (and young men) who are tortured with anorexia, who are struggling with obesity, who pay for plastic surgery to get their bodies to fit a certain mold, putting foreign substances such as botox into their bodies, breast augmentation, etc.   Educating them to the truth that the images they see in magazines and on television are adjusted with the magic of photo retouching and airbrushing techniques…that no-one has a perfect face or figure.  It is time to stop and teach young people the importance of self acceptance.  Stop allowing them to think that they don’t measure up to someone else’s standards of what is the ideal.

           We really need to examine the culture that we expose our children to from magazine articles, to television shows, to media advertising, to fashionable clothing lines that seem to say it is ok to dress our young girls in clothing meant for older teens or young adult women.  Everything is sexualized or sensual in it’s design…this marketing technique needs to be addressed.  We are allowing this, when we purchase these types of products for our children and then wonder why behaviors seem so out of synch with the type of behaviors that should be appropriate to their ages.

           Parents are the ultimate stop gap for their children…it is their money, for the most part, which purchases these items.  If we raise the bar on what we expose our children to…then, the industries that our dollars support will have to adapt to the demand for a more traditional age appropriate level of decency in the children’s clothing, toys, accessories, music, television programing, advertising, etc. 

            In an age where we try to protect our children from predators on the streets, in our schools and in every other area of life; we need to understand that if we send the children mixed messages about what is appropriate role modeling; how can we expect them to know when someone inappropriately crosses the line in their conduct?  Children learn their boundaries from the adults in their lives who set limits…so we need to re-examine how we condition our children by the choices that we make. 

            Children may still want the Bratz dolls over the Barbie dolls…who knows…children don’t always know what is in their best interests; however, the adults who care for them should know…shouldn’t they?

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        Oprah has been doing an “experiment”…she has been following a vegan diet for 21 days to increase her spiritual awareness of food.  The experiment was induced by author Kathy Feston of the book, Quantam Wellness.  The diet puts into practice the removal of alcohol, animal products, gluten, and sugar and caffeine from a person’s daily meals and snacks.  (more…)

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